Guaynabo (Spanish pronunciation: [ɡwajˈnaβo]) is a city, suburb of San Juan and municipality in the northern part of Puerto Rico, located in the northern coast of the island, north of Aguas Buenas, south of Cataño, east of Bayamón, and west of San Juan. Guaynabo is spread over 9 barrios and Guaynabo Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the suburb). Guaynabo is considered, along with its neighbors – San Juan and the municipalities of Bayamón, Carolina, Cataño, Trujillo Alto, and Toa Baja – to be part of the San Juan metropolitan area. It is also part of the larger San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area, (the largest MSA in Puerto Rico).
The municipality has a land area of 27.13 square miles (70.3 km2) and a population of 89,780 as of the 2020 census. The municipality is known for being an affluent suburb of San Juan and for its former Irish heritage. The studios of WAPA-TV is located in Guaynabo.
The first European settlement in Puerto Rico, Caparra, was founded in 1508 by Juan Ponce de León in land that is today part of Guaynabo. Ponce de León resided there as first Spanish governor of Puerto Rico. This settlement was abandoned in 1521 in favor of San Juan. The ruins of Caparra remain and are a U.S. National Historic Landmark. The Museum of the Conquest and Colonization of Puerto Rico, which features artifacts from the site and others in Puerto Rico, is located on the grounds.
The municipality of Guaynabo was founded in 1769 by Pedro R. Davila (P.R.), after a struggle for division from the municipality of Bayamón. Previously, the municipality was known as Buinabo, a name that it is popularly said to mean in Taíno "Here is another place of fresh water." Irish officer Thomas O'Daly and fellow Irishman Miguel Kirwan settled the area in the late 18th century and developed a farm and sugarcane plantation he named Hacienda San Patricio. The plantation no longer exists but the land on which it was located is now the central business district of Guaynabo and the San Patricio Plaza shopping mall.
In October 2017, after a couple of hurricanes struck Guaynabo, including Hurricane Maria, President Donald Trump visited the area.
After 24 years as mayor, Héctor O'Neill García resigned in 2017 when allegations surfaced of sexual harassment toward a female municipal employee. He was replaced in a run-off election by Angel Pérez Otero, who in turn was forced out due to his arrest for Federal corruption allegations in 2021. Héctor O'Neill's son Edward O'Neill Rosa won the following run-off election to succeed him as mayor in January of 2022.
Guaynabo is on the northern side.
Hurricane Maria on September 20, 2017 triggered numerous landslides in Guaynabo with the significant amount of rainfall. Due to the municipality's fiscal difficulties, it was not until April 2, 2019, over a year and half later, that the overtime pay owed to municipal workers was paid.
Like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, Guaynabo is subdivided into barrios. The municipal buildings, central square and large Catholic church are located in a smaller barrio referred to as "el pueblo", located near the center of the municipality.
Barrios (which are like minor civil divisions) in turn are further subdivided into smaller local populated place areas/units called sectores (sectors in English). The types of sectores may vary, from normally sector to urbanización to reparto to barriada to residencial, among others.
Comunidades Especiales de Puerto Rico (Special Communities of Puerto Rico) are marginalized communities whose citizens are experiencing a certain amount of social exclusion. A map shows these communities occur in nearly every municipality of the commonwealth. Of the 742 places that were on the list in 2014, the following barrios, communities, sectors, or neighborhoods were in Guaynabo: Amelia, Buen Samaritano, Camarones barrio, Corea, El Polvorín, Honduras, Jerusalén, Los Filtros, Sector El Laberinto, Sector La Pajilla, Sector Los Ratones (Camino Feliciano), Sector San Miguel, Trujillo, Sector Tomé, Vietnam, and Villa Isleña.
Landmarks and places of interest
Rancho de Apa (restaurant)
Centro de Bellas Artes (Guaynabo Performing Arts Center)
Caribe Recreational Center
Iglesia Parroquial de San Pedro Mártir
La Marquesa Forest Park
Mario Morales Coliseum
San Patricio Plaza
Caparra Country Club
Museum of Transportation
Museo del Deporte
Several businesses have their headquarters or local Puerto Rican branches in Guaynabo. El Nuevo Día, Chrysler, Santander Securities, Puerto Rico Telephone, and many sales offices for large US and international firms (such as Total, Microsoft, Toshiba, Puma Energy and others) have their Puerto Rican headquarters in Guaynabo. WAPA-TV (Televicentro) and Univision Puerto Rico have their main studios in Guaynabo.
Iberia's San Juan-area offices are in Guaynabo.
Carjackings have been an ongoing problem in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico and in 2014 the FBI reported a carjacking that occurred in Camarones.
Festivals and events
Guaynabo celebrates its patron saint festival in April. The Fiestas Patronales de San Pedro Martir is a religious and cultural celebration that generally features parades, games, artisans, amusement rides, regional food, and live entertainment.Other festivals and events celebrated in Guaynabo include:
Three Kings Festival – January
Mabó Carnival – February
Mothers’ Day celebration – May
National Salsa Day – June
Fine Arts camp and recreation and sports camp – June
Bomba and Plena (folkloric music and dance) Festival – October
Official lighting of Christmas Lights – November
Guaynabo's old BSN team, the Guaynabo Mets, won national championships in 1980, 1982 and 1989, commanded by the player whom the Mario Morales Coliseum was named after, Mario "Quijote" Morales. The Conquistadores de Guaynabo, or Guaynabo Conquistadores, are the Guaynabo Mets replacement and still play in the Mario Morales Coliseum. The Mets de Guaynabo are the local women's volleyball team that play in the LVSF, or The Liga de Voliebol Superior Femenino. They have not won any championships yet. They also play in the Mario Morales Coliseum. Guaynabo Fluminense FC is Guaynabo's professional soccer team that plays in the Puerto Rico Soccer League. The league started in 2008 and Guaynabo's current position in the league is 4th place. Guaynabo Fluminense FC play their matches at the Jose Bonano Stadium that was originally made for baseball, but became a soccer arena after the Puerto Rico Baseball League was cancelled for the 2008 season. It was at the same year that the Puerto Rico Soccer League was starting to take place. In the 2009 season, Guaynabo Fluminense FC moved to the Sixto Escobar Stadium.
Mets de Guaynabo (Women's Volleyball) LVSF
Guaynabo Conquistadores (Basketball) Baloncesto Superior Nacional
Guaynabo Fluminense FC (Soccer) Puerto Rico Soccer League
Government and infrastructure
The United States Postal Service operates two post offices, Guaynabo and Caparra Heights, in Guaynabo.The Federal Bureau of Prisons operates the Metropolitan Detention Center, Guaynabo in Guaynabo.Some regions of the city belong to the Puerto Rico Senatorial district I while others belong to the Puerto Rico Senatorial district II. Both of the Districts are represented by two Senators. In 2016, Henry Neumann and Miguel Romero were elected as Senators for District I, while Migdalia Padilla and Carmelo Ríos have been serving as Senators for District II since being elected in 2004.
Mayors of Guaynabo from 1969 to present
Mayors of Guaynabo from 1782 to 1969
The municipio has an official flag and coat of arms.
This municipality has a flag.
Coat of arms
This municipality has a coat of arms.
Professional Hospital Guaynabo located on Felisa Rincón Avenue (formerly Las Cumbres Avenue), is the newest hospital infrastructure built in Puerto Rico. Guaynabo is the only city in Puerto Rico to have a hospital specialized in advanced vascular surgery. Some of the first and newest procedures performed in Puerto Rico during 2009 were done in Professional Hospital Guaynabo, including the first AxiaLIF surgery for lumbar fusion.
The Tren Urbano has only one station in the municipality, Torrimar Station.
Guaynabo has a bus network called “Guaynabo City Transport”.
There are 63 bridges in Guaynabo.
Tomas Nido, Baseball Catcher for the New York Mets
Iván DeJesús Jr., Baseball player infielder
Guaynabo is home to Atlantic University College, which specializes in new media art.
The Japanese Language School of Puerto Rico (プエルトリコ補習授業校 Puerutoriko Hoshū Jugyō Kō), a weekend Japanese school, previously held its classes in Guaynabo. It closed in March 2006.
Guaynabo serves as a host city to four foreign consulates with business in Puerto Rico: